forth·​right | \ ˈfȯrth-ˌrīt How to pronounce forthright (audio) \

Definition of forthright

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 archaic

a : directly forward
b : without hesitation : frankly
2 archaic : at once



Definition of forthright (Entry 2 of 3)

1 archaic : proceeding straight on
2 : free from ambiguity or evasiveness : going straight to the point a forthright critic was forthright in appraising the problem
3 : notably simple in style or quality forthright furniture



Definition of forthright (Entry 3 of 3)

: a straight path

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Other Words from forthright


forthrightly adverb
forthrightness noun

Examples of forthright in a Sentence


she sometimes was a little too forthright for her own good and ended up saying things that inadvertently offended people I appreciate your forthright explanation of the situation.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

From his dedication to veterans through his Newman’s Own Foundation to intentionally giving up some of his salary for equal pay, Newman was a forthright philanthropist. Jack Wisniewski, Fox News, "Paul Newman's daughter talks about his lasting legacy: 'I miss him so much'," 9 Aug. 2018 That prompted the unusually forthright rebuke from Yad Vashem, an independent body that is partly financed by the Israeli government and that is also known as the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, "Yad Vashem Rebukes Israeli and Polish Governments Over Holocaust Law," 5 July 2018 Gruel added that Carlson was not forthright when explaining to the county judge what a cell-site simulator actually does. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Judge slams FBI for improper cellphone search, stingray use," 18 July 2018 Goldstone’s forthright and often witty asides keep this complicated story bowling along at a terrific pace. Miranda Seymour, New York Times, "Royal Ladies, Royal Intrigue," 1 June 2018 On a conference call, P&G Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller was forthright about these challenges. Aaron Back, WSJ, "Betting on Procter’s Comeback Still a Gamble," 19 Oct. 2018 But Asylum is the show’s most forthright depiction of the ways that American society once tried to literally wipe LGBTQ people from the face of the planet for not strictly conforming to that norm. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Every season of American Horror Story so far, ranked," 12 Sep. 2018 With her soothing yet forthright manner, her wide eyes twinkling with reassurance and mischief, Tully has the affect, and the seemingly magical powers, of a woodland nymph. Justin Chang,, "Charlize Theron and Mackenzie Davis breathe the miracle of life into the dark motherhood story of 'Tully'," 3 May 2018 Tibs, a celebratory dish made with nubs of chicken (dark meat only) or beef, is forthright in flavor, bearing swallowed smoke from the grill. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "At Makina Cafe, Ethiopian Takeaway With Buoyant Injera," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'forthright.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of forthright


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1606, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for forthright


Middle English, from Old English forthriht, from forth + riht right

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Time Traveler for forthright

The first known use of forthright was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for forthright



English Language Learners Definition of forthright

: honest and direct : providing answers or information in a very clear and direct way


forth·​right | \ ˈfȯrth-ˌrīt How to pronounce forthright (audio) \

Kids Definition of forthright

: going straight to the point clearly and firmly a forthright answer

Other Words from forthright

forthrightly adverb She had spoken forthrightly.

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Comments on forthright

What made you want to look up forthright? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a secret plot to overthrow a government

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